Collateral event of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia


Organiser: Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E. de Macau (I.C.M.)

Curator: Mr Ung Vai Meng (President of the I.C.M.), Ms Leong Wai Man (Head of the Cultural Heritage Department of the I.C.M.)

Collaborator: Architects Association of Macau (A.A.M.),

Participants: Mr Wong Chung Yuen (President of the Board of Directors of the A.A.M.), Ms Wu Kim Kam (Deputy President of the Board of Directors of the A.A.M.), Mr Wong Iat Cheong (Head of Studies and Projects Division of the Cultural Heritage Department of the I.C.M.), Mr Alexandre Lou (Architect / I.C.M), Ms Ip Kin Hong (Heritage Architecture Conservator / I.C.M), Mr Lei Kam Meng(Conservation Technician, Macau Youth Challenge), Mr Cheong Chong Peng(Conservation Technician, Macau Youth Challenge), Mr ChuChan Kam(Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Chao Chi Peng(Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Kwah Hou In (Architect / A.A.M.), Ms Vera dos Santos (Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Leong Chong San (Architect / A.A.M.) , Mr Tong Man Kit (Architect / A.A.M.)

Commissioner: Paolo De Grandis

Coordinator: PDG Arte Communications

Venue: Campo della Tana Castello 2126/A

Preview: 26th, 27th May 2016

Opening to public: 28th May – 27th November 2016

Media enquiry:


Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macao S.A.R. Government of the People’s Republic of China, in cooperation with Architects Association of Macao, are pleased to present a collateral exhibition, “Coexistence”, that addresses the theme of Reporting from the Front by taking into account the unique cultural hybridisation in Macao, the blending of the East and West, and many facets that reflect the dynamic mixed cultures.

Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade in Chinese territory, became a Portuguese settlement in the mid-16th century and returned to China in 1999. The “Historic Centre of Macao” is a collection of a series of locations in the old city centre that witness the unique assimilation and coexistence of Chinese and Portuguese cultures. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, and represents the architectural legacies of the city's cultural heritage, including monuments, squares, streetscapes, churches and temples.

Macao has been a fast growing economic region in recent decades, the Historic Centreinevitably faces challenges with emerging new and modern developments, the integrity of the major monuments and the original urban fabric that define the historic settlement however has remained intact, with all necessary qualities to fully convey the cultural values despite the contemporary setting of Macao. The exhibition is based on the unique urban context of Macao, and aimed to investigate the relationship between the local life and historical architecture, which can be influenced by the changing urban environment and modern requirements.

Through the use of physical installation and digital communication, the exhibition will provide the interactive opportunity to review how we can learn from these “old” buildings and the existing urban context of Macao in a “new” way.  The exhibition will explore the idea for reconditioning historical spaces for domestic use, in which a suggestive, fertile dialogue is struck between past and present. By presenting a series of recent restoration and regeneration projects, as well as displaying the traditional (perhaps disappearing) building techniques and local materials that are being rediscovered, reused and applied during the re-making process in the past and present days, one might be able to understand the coexisting east-and west relationships between the architectural approaches and the Historic Centre. That is, to report and share these stories at the "frontline" in Macao by referring to the theme of the Biennale.

About the Organiser

The Cultural Affairs Bureau [Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E. de Macau (I.C.M.)] was founded as a public institution in 1982. The aim was to assist in drafting and implementing the policies in culture and academic research, by organising activities in relation to Sino-Portuguese and Chinese cultural interchange, and to disseminate and stimulate local interests in art, heritage and culture. The Institute continued to maintain its role in legislation, providing training in various arts and promoting cultural events to locals. Over time, the administrative structure of the Cultural Affairs Bureau has been developed and reformed. Today, the Cultural Affairs Bureau is formed as a part of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau S.A.R. Government.

The Cultural Heritage Department of the Cultural Affairs Bureau is responsible for organizing the Macao Architecture Exhibition, the Collateral Event of La Biennale di Venezia. The Department mainly focuses on classifying, restoring, renovating and revitalising Macao's cultural heritage, including historical architecture, archaeological discoveries and artefacts. Of particular importance are the monuments, classified urban areas, buildings and sites, by which must be protected legally and respectfully. This is achieved by issuing specific requirements and advisory  constraints for building works for the protected area and buildings, and drawing up plans to restore buildings that are in a state of decay and emergency. In 2014, the Cultural Heritage Protection Law became effective to enforce the preservation of cultural heritages in Macao.

About the Collaborator

Architects Association of Macau (AAM) is a professional organization formed by Macau architects. It was initially found in 1980 and officially reorganized in 1988. AAM celebrated its 25th anniversary and held a series of ceremonies and activities in November 2013.

AAM is a member of the  UIA, ARCASIA and CIALP. Adhering its traditions and missions, AAM commits to unite members and aims at promoting the social status and professional levels of Macau architects. AAM also helps on the developing architectural industry in Macau, and actively assisting the architecture regulation revisions and urban planning studies. AAM will continue to introduce Macau architecture to the world, to cooperate and communicate with international professional and cultural organizations, and to serve as a platform for Macau architects to demonstrate their professional competences and talents.